In one of the better matchups in college basketball on Saturday, the Oregon Ducks head to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs. Oregon, a Final Four team last year, is 8-3 this year, but this will be their first true road game this year. They have won three straight games and are putting up 85 points per game as a team. They don’t have the talent they had last year, losing a lot to the NBA, but they will still be competitive in the Pac 12.
The Bulldogs have been playing even better than the Ducks. They have won seven straight games and come in at 9-2 on the season, included a perfect 6-0 at home. They average a few less points than the Ducks, coming in at 81 points, but they only allow 66 points per game, for an impressive +15 points differential per game.
Oregon wins third straight
Oregon won their third straight game on on Wednesday night, defeating Portland State 95-84. It wasn’t their most impressive win as last year’s team probably would have beaten the Pilots by 30. But a win is a win and the Ducks will take it. The win increased their record to 8-3 and 7-1 at home. They are 1-2 in neutral games and now will play their first true road game.
They have been led by in scoring by Payton Pritchard who is the one big holdover from last year’s final four team that saw the departure of Dillon Brooks, Joey Bell, and others. Pritchard is putting up 16 points per game to go along with 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He also shoots 50% from the field and 84% from the free throw line. He’s been very impressive this year.
Fresno State has won seven straight
Fresno State is not impressed with Oregon’s three game winning streak as they have reeled off seven in a row themselves. The competition hasn’t been great, but they have won every game by 12 points and you don’t see that many winning streaks where every win is by double digits or more. They absolutely look like a tourney team and this is a big test for them, one I think they will pass easily. Their two losses this year are by eight and two points.
Their best player this year has been Deshon Taylor. The junior guard from Riverside is putting up 18.6 points per game to go along with 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He is shooting very well across every metric, going 47% from the field, 87% from the free throw line, and 40% from beyond the arc. He makes the Bulldogs go.
The Oregon Ducks are:
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
The Fresno State Bulldogs are:
- 25-9 ATS in their last 34 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 23-6 ATS in their last 29 games following a straight up win.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games.
Both teams are playing well, but I just think this game means more to Fresno State and I think they will come up fired up at home. I look for them to win this game a lot more convincingly than people think.